Rudy Giuliani, a personal lawyer for President Donald Trump, pushed back Tuesday on a New York Times report that said he and the president recently discussed the possibility of the former New York City mayor receiving a preemptive pardon before Trump leaves office.
What You Need To Know
- The New York Times reported Tuesday that Rudy Giuliani and President Trump recently discussed a potential preemptive pardon for the former NYC mayor
- Giuliani denied on Twitter that any such conversation had taken place
- Federal prosecutors in New York last year reportedly began investigating whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying disclosure laws while in Ukraine
The president and Giuliani, who has been leading Trump’s long shot legal battles to overturn the results of last month’s presidential election, discussed the option as recently as last week, the Times reported, citing two people told of the conversation.
It was not the first time the topic had come up between Trump and Giuliani, the people said. It wasn’t clear who raised it in their most recent conversation, the report added.
Giuliani did not respond to the Times’ request for a comment but he posted on Twitter shortly after the article was published online, saying he "never had the discussion" to which the Times is referring, claiming that they "falsely attribute" the discussion "to an anonymous source."
Federal prosecutors in New York last year reportedly began investigating whether Giuliani violated foreign lobbying disclosure laws while he was in Ukraine digging for dirt on Biden.
The investigation was led by then-U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, whom Trump fired in June. It's unclear where that investigation stands today.
Robert Costello, a lawyer for Giuliani, told the Times that Giuliani is “not concerned about this investigation, because he didn’t do anything wrong and that’s been our position from Day 1.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Constitution grants the president broad power “to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States.” Presidents have issued preemptive pardons in the past, including famously in 1974 when Gerald Ford pardoned Richard Nixon before Nixon had been formally charged with any wrongdoing.
Trump has shown he’s not afraid to use his clemency powers to help his associates. In July, he commuted the 40-month sentence of his longtime confidant Roger Stone on seven counts of lying to Congress, obstructing justice and tampering with a witness as he attempted to thwart a House investigation into ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia.
Last week, Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. But the pardon extended well beyond that charge, with it also including any potential charges stemming from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as well as Flynn’s lobbying for Turkey in 2016.